The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) council has plans to improve our football standards, but an element is still missing.
During this World Cup, 25 of the 32 teams fielded at least one foreign-born player during qualifications for the tournament. Morocco even had 17 foreign-born players.
In the last few years, it has been proven that our national team cannot go far without any foreign players, especially when other countries are fielding foreign players. Hence, I believe the FAS needs to start injecting new naturalised players into our national team. However, this should not be in the form of the Foreign Talent Scheme, where the FAS is the driver.
We need more players like Aleksandar Duric.
Duric applied for Singapore citizenship through his own initiative, even though it took him three attempts before he was successful. Because of his commitment and drive, he continued to play for our national team until he was 44. Even after retirement, he continues to contribute to Singapore football through the ActiveSG Academy.
This is the type of naturalised player we need. The clubs or companies should be the ones sponsoring good foreign players in applying for citizenship. The FAS' role should only be to facilitate the building of the right environment for this to happen.